Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Criminal Justice System - Well Named....

A teenager who posed as a schoolgirl to con a pensioner was caught after she left behind a form giving the address of a family member.
That's pretty amusing. But her sentence isn't:
Hay, of Woodhill, Woolwich, pleaded guilty to burglary and obtaining property by deception.

She has previous convictions for similar attacks on vulnerable homeowners in 2005 and 2006
She's 17, according to the report, so her previous crimes were committed when she was around 14-15. Not exactly keeping her nose clean then? Well deserving of a suitable punishment?

She didn't get one:
But Recorder Mr Alan Saggerson gave her a nine month sentence suspended for two years.

He said: "This burglary was a nasty and mean offence that involved stealing from a 93-year-old lady, the consequences of which don't even begin to cross your mind.

"Both of these offences are plainly so serious that only a custodial sentence can possibly be justified.

"However, I am going to suspend the sentence, firstly because of your age and also because the Probation Service is able to offer some positive courses.
Because of her age...? She was committing offences against vulnerable pensioners when she was even younger, for god's sake!
Hay, who had been on conditional bail, left the court apparently in tears.
They must have been of laughter...

Praise For 'The Guardian'

It's ok, you have come to the right blog! You probably won't see that headline often, mind.

But, via 'Harry's Place', it's appropriate on this occasion.

Peter Tatchell's 'CiF' article on Balochistan has drawn the ire of the Pakistani government, which is pressuring 'The Guardian' to remove it from the website or publish an apology and correction.

Not about the claims that its army burnt alive four prisoners. They don't seem bothered about that little trifle. What it wants censored is the statement about Pakistan invading, annexing and occupying Balochistan.

'The Guardian' is standing firm. Good for them!

Wanted: Nosy Parkers

Exciting new opportunities for those people who just can't mind their own bloody business!

Do you:
Like to join in whatever is the latest fad sweeping the country?
Love watching what the neighbours are up to?
Get a little frisson of pleasure when you see someone else in trouble?
Have absolutely no social life of your own?
Then enquire within. Don't delay, places may be limited! The position is sadly unpaid, but that's no problem for a person like you, is it?

MSM: Some Victims Really Do Have It Coming...

Back in May, I noted the MSM's 'impartial' reporting on this trial verdict.

Now, with the sentencing, they are at it again:
Habib Khan, 50, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter after a jury heard he had been tormented for years by his neighbour over a planning dispute.
Reading around, there's a hell of a lot of evidence released at trial that both families were not averse to a little 'tormenting' there. And like nearly all neighbour feuds, it originally started over a boundary dispute.
In a separate incident, Mr Brown's son, Ashley Barker, was wounded by a wheelbrace.
This was a feud that had a certain amount of '6 of 1, half a dozen of the other' about it. But you'd never know that from the reporting...

In fact, Mr Brown did not even start the dispute as a 'BNP activist' - he became one after requesting the help of his local BNP councillor on the boundary dispute matter.

A better sentencing tariff and some less 'right on' reporting would have taken the wind out of the BNP's sails and prevented them for being able to claim favouritism to a minority in their publicity. As they have now done:
Speaking outside the court, Stoke-on-Trent BNP members slammed the sentence, which they said did not reflect the severity of the crime.

BNP Councillor Michael Coleman said the court case was an example of "liberal politics going on".

He criticised Staffordshire Police for "going softly on ethnic minorities" and being hard with "the indigenous population of this island."
It's going to be very, very difficult for the average man in the street (sorry, Chichester District Council!) to disagree with that, isn't it?

Friday, 29 August 2008

Nicely Played, Sir...

So now we know - VP pick for John McCain is the young, pretty, female, economically-conservative governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. What a sly old fox he is...

A very political pick, to be sure, but a very interesting one all the same.

Nicely hamstrung Obama already, who came out on the attack claiming she lacked experience. That's not going to play well when turned back on him...

What’s England Coming To…?

…when you can’t put some giant metal sculptures of spiders on a roundabout without someone complaining?
Giant spiders have been banned from a roundabout because of fears they could scare drivers into crashing.

The Highways Agency is forcing Arundel Gallery Trail to remove the sculptures from the A27 roundabout only ten days after they were installed because of concerns they could cause an accident.
They’re horrible, and as ‘art’, certainly not to my taste, but dubbing them a road hazard is a bit much. How many people complained? Just one:
The Causeway roundabout has been used as a gallery for up-and-coming artists for more than a decade.

But an agency investigation, sparked by one complaint, concluded the arachnoid art was too dangerous because it could distract motorists.
Perhaps investigating this motorist instead might be a more worthwhile use of the agency’s time. They're obviously not up to the difficult task of driving…
Michelle Scott, of the Arundel Gallery Trail, said she could not understand why a 10ft tall chicken statue had been allowed on a Dorking roundabout for more than a year, while the spider sculptures were being removed.

I’m not keen on spiders myself (real ones, not giant metal sculptures) but somehow, when a real live one plopped onto my dashboard a week or so ago from its hidden perch in the sun visor while I was driving along, I managed not to swerve off the road and wipe out a bus queue quite easily.

If you are in control of a large, potentially dangerous piece of heavy machinery, a certain amount of self control is required. Anyone who feels that that is jeopardised by even the ugly sculptures that we call modern ‘art’ should consider handing in his or her license. Not whining about it to the council…

“Try Something Really New Today…”

The slogan for Sainsbury’s is ‘Try Something New Today’.

But when customer Jessinta Edwards bought a lettuce from a Reading town centre store she didn’t expect it to be a dead frog.
Yes, newspapers love these stories, particularly if they can get a picture of an aggrieved shopper holding the offending beastie that’s crawled out of their salad/sandwich/bunch of grapes. And there indeed is a picture of Miss Edwards holding a teeny tiny frog.

These stories crop up quite regularly, so you’d think people wouldn’t be that surprised. But Miss Edwards obviously doesn’t read too much:
She said: “I put the lettuce down on my worktop and when I picked it up, the dead frog was left lying there.

“I hadn’t seen it before that.

“It was absolutely disgusting. My children could have eaten that.
Sweetie, if you are raising kids that can’t tell the difference between lettuce leaves and small amphibians before they put them in their mouths, you’ve got more problems than you think…

It transpires, though, that Miss Edwards feels Sainsbury is out to get her:
She added: “I really don’t have much luck with Sainsbury’s. I bought a loaf of bread in there last year and found a bug in it. They gave me a voucher then. I didn’t think it would happen again. This was too much. I mean it.

“I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it.”
Over a frog the size of a postage stamp? Sensitive little soul. Lucky for her she doesn’t live next door to Mrs Griffiths!

Mr Watson Gets It…

A PUB landlord who put up a gazebo to provide shelter for smokers has been threatened with a £20,000 fine if he fails to take it down – because seven screws holding it to the ground means he needs planning permission.

Robin Watson put up the structure – which planners say is a marquee – at the back of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in York when the smoking ban came into force last year.
So, faced with a potential loss of trade, Mr Watson did his best to keep his customers happy while complying with the new law. Who could object to that? Step forward the local council:
The structure has been a hit with smokers at the pub in Heworth Green, although Mr Watson said trade has still dropped since the introduction of the smoking ban last July.

"We put the screws down one side to hold it down so it won't blow away but the council were claiming it was a permanent structure and said we had to take it down," he said.

"It just seems whatever we do we have somebody complaining about something.

"There has been a drop in trade but this is managing to keep us going. They haven't given us a reduction in council rates because of the smoking ban so I don't see why I need this."
Indeed, Mr Watson, it does look like no matter what you do, some local jobsworth has to stick his oar in. Welcome to the modern UK.
His case has been taken up by Yorkshire's Ukip Euro MP Godfrey Bloom, who said the demand was "absurd".

"Whatever happened to the British sense of compromise"
What indeed? That probably doesn’t meet EU requirements either…

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Another Day, Another Outrageous Extension Of Powers…

Town hall snoopers armed with police powers are issuing 'wanted' photographs of suspected litterbugs, it emerged last night.

Litter wardens given police-style accreditation by the Government are using cameras to snap alleged offenders. They are then shamed in local newspapers.
My, the New Zealand Police must think we’ve gone totally mad, given the restrictions they face for actual criminals

At least this latest scheme has finally woken up the recently-somnolent Shami Chakrabarti:
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: 'Town hall jobsworths are giving local government a bad name.

'Common sense might suggest providing more bins with ashtrays rather than wanted ads and busybodies with long lenses.'
Common sense isn’t that common in local councils, Shami…

And as Dumb Jon points out with regards to misuse of powers, even the police (well, some of them) are starting to get a little uncomfortable with the way the wind’s blowing:
Simon Reed, of the Police Federation, said: 'This government seems intent on diluting the policing resilience in this country by handing out traditional policing powers to civilian staff.

'The federation has concern about the presence of an ill-equipped and poorly trained second layer of law enforcement.

'Not only does it cause members of the public confusion over who has what powers, but it undermines the special covenant between the police and the public who rightly expect policing functions to be performed by trained, independent and accountable officers.'
Needless to say, the ‘brains’ behind this are unrepentant:
Labour councillor Tim Young dismissed concerns about innocent people being accidentally named and shamed.

'We did a risk assessment and decided we wanted to go ahead,' he said.

'The lawyers cleared it and, to be honest, we want to keep Colchester clean and tidy and if that upsets a few libertarians we'll put up with it.

'We want a zero-tolerance attitude to litter in Colchester. The answer to this problem is don't drop litter.'
Bang goes his chances of re-election, I suspect…

”We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat Glass Tumbler And Piece Of Cardboard…!”

Some husbands home from war bring back interesting scars, or bits of souvenir shrapnel. But paratrooper Rodney Griffiths may have brought back a more lively souvenir – a solifugid! *gulp*

Not one of nature’s most prepossessing beasties, it’s gangly, pugnacious, and has large, oddly-shaped mandibles. But enough about Cherie Blair…

As someone who screamed the house down on being confronted by a large, though harmless, Tegenaria house spider at the weekend, I sympathise. My advice, trooper Griffiths? A BIG bunch of flowers next trip home!

Six Months Is Up Already..?

Over at Dumb Jon's, another of those oh-so-rare cases of women lying about rape (must break out a new tag, I'm obviously going to need it):
District Judge Tim Daber said her behaviour had undermined the 'credibility' of genuine complaints.

Yet, instead of a six-month maximum jail term, Capon was given a 12-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay £95 costs.
So much for it being 'massively reported with well-deserved outrage everywhere, as with all cases where a woman is prosecuted for lying about a rape', as john b tried to claim over at Tim Worstall's site the other day. He also thought 'Without checking Factiva, my guess is that they occur about once every six months'.

Hmm, yeah, if you say so.. ;)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Turning The Tide Down Under…

A school has banned pupils from doing cartwheels and handstands in the playground. Students were told that all unsupervised gymnastic movements outdoors were not allowed in an effort to protect the children from injury.
Sounds pretty typical, doesn’t it?
The move has caused such a backlash from parents the school is now being forced to review its decision after the education minister suggested it should be overturned.
But that’s new.

The reason? This happened in Australia.
The education department said in a statement Wednesday that the school was reviewing its decision and would work with parents and the community to find a balance between student safety and "their right to engage in gymnastic activities."
So, it can be done. Though it probably helps if you have an Education Minister like this one:
(Education Minister) Welford said that teachers sometimes feared parents would sue their schools if students are involved in accidents.
"I think the decision by the principal in Townsville the other day was prompted by the fact that increasingly we as a community are wrapping our children in cotton wool," Welford said. "I think our generation of parents are mollycoddling their children."
Hear, hear! And how very refreshing

Freedom Of Speech: If We Don’t Protect It, We’ll Lose It To People Like This

We Support Harry\'s Place Blogburst

I haven’t been able to get into top notch (though left-wing) blog ‘Harry’s Place’ over the last few days, and I’d assumed they were having technical problems with their server.

Over at ‘Unenlightened Commentary’ this morning, I found out that they have actually been yanked by their service provider following a complaint, because they highlighted the activities of one Jenna Delich, a Sheffield based academic, and her involvement with the lecturers union the UCU.

They have a temporary site set up over here.

Go see what this whackademic (to borrow a term from the incomparable Dumb Jon!) has been up to, and decide for yourselves if she deserves to have the power to shut down a blog legitimately raising questions over her activities…

Update 17:58: Harry's Place is now back up! Yay! *applause*

Meanwhile, over at 'Comment is Free', Sally Hunt, UCU Gen Sec, is coming in for a well deserved kicking for her unfortunately-timed post on the perils of studying religious extremism online. Oh dear... ;)

Update No.2, 28/808 17:48: Thanks to NeoConstant, there's now a handy little banner you can get to show your support, and the company you are keeping in supporting free speech.

Here’s A New Definition Of ‘Sensitive And Tactful’…

A grieving mother who watched her ten-year-old son die of an asthma attack was left devastated after being arrested for his manslaughter.

Claire Humberstone said she was treated like a criminal after police arrived at her home with dogs and riot vans just 12 days after her son Dante Kamara died. The shocked mother of four was held in custody for eight hours, questioned and had her DNA and fingerprints taken.
Dogs and riot vans…? Good grief, what were they expecting?!

Of course, she was released without charges. The coroner had even issued the death certificate before raising undescribed ‘concerns’ with the police, who then put ‘Operation Danger:Housewife’ into action:
Detective Chief Inspector Clive Wain, of South Yorkshire Police, said: 'Claire is fully aware of the reasons for her arrest. She was arrested as a potential suspect, but we tried to be as sensitive and tactful as we could.'
Leaving aside the bizarre idea that turning up with police dogs and riot vans to arrest a grieving 29 year old woman who looks like she weighs about 100lbs soaking wet is being ‘sensitive and tactful’, the rather sinister ‘fully aware of the reasons for her arrest’ makes me wonder just what the real story is here…

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Yeah, We're A Real Nation Of Animal Lovers...

...but not our judges:
A Black Country couple who were jailed after admitting throwing a dog from the balcony of a block of flats have been freed on appeal.
No doubt that'll please some people ignorant cretins...
The couple told the hearing on 14 August that they believed the sentence was too harsh.

Their lifetime ban on keeping animals has also been reduced to 12 months.
Perhaps they'll do us a favour, and throw a judge off a tower block next time. It's ok, I don't think it's cruel. I don't think they can feel pain, like people do...

I Think He's Right....

Very perceptive post on the Gary Glitter brouhaha over at 'House of Dumb':
Look at the proportion of liberals in the MSM (approximately 100%) who denounce anti-paedophilia activism as 'hysteria'. Really? What would be the correct reaction to child rape? Apathy? Ironic detachment? Warm applause? And if the abduction and subsequent sexual torture of a child doesn't raise any hackles on the left, what would? The assailant having a cigarette afterwards?
Read the whole thing.

"Officer In Pursuit..."

...of a double pepperoni with cheese:
An investigation has been launched into how a police car hit and killed a mother - amid claims that it was fetching a takeaway with its siren and blue lights on.

The 61-year-old is reported to have been walking with her husband and son when she was struck by the marked police car.
I wonder what the English version of the ten-code is for that?
A witness said she heard a siren before the sound of impact, and then saw the officer leaning over the prone woman.

'He looked like he was in shock and didn't know what to do,' said Ruth Oswald, 53.

'Her husband was mad. I think he smashed the window on the police car and he was bashing his head against the fence.'
Oh, well. At least they didn't taser him...

This Is 'Shocking' To Whom, Exactly...?

A flagship database intended to protect every child in the country will be used by police to hunt for evidence of crime in a "shocking" extension of its original purpose, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
Because it certainly isn't 'shocking' to me...:
The £224 million computer system was announced in the wake of the death of Victoria Climbié, who was abused and then murdered after a string of missed opportunities to intervene by the authorities, as a way to connect the different services dealing with children.

It has always been portrayed as a way for professionals to find out which other agencies are working with a particular child, to make their work easier and provide a better service for young people.

However, it has now emerged that police officers, council staff, head teachers, doctors and care workers will use the records to search for evidence of criminality and wrongdoing to help them launch prosecutions against those on the database - even long after they have reached adulthood.
Government critics in the Opposition said "...".

Still, at least one politician had some courage:
Baroness Miller, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman in the House of Lords, said: "This is truly shocking. It's exactly the definition of a police state. The police will have the details of a whole generation for so-called crime prevention.

"It raises a lot of issues and we haven't had a debate in Parliament about it."
Yeah. That's not all that 'shocking' either...

Monday, 25 August 2008

Yet Another One Of Those 'Rarities'...

An alcohol binging mother has been jailed after falsely accusing an innocent taxi driver of raping her.

Joanne Rye, who kept up the lie for 20 months, was told by a judge her behaviour was despicable and was handed an eight month prison sentence.
Or four months, as we say on this planet.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Rye, then 18, was known as a troublemaker and had been banned from using the All Night Car Hire in Dartford, Kent where Mr Kali worked.

The court also heard the week before she made the rape allegation she had used racially insulting language to Mr Kali.
Doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see a sudden allegation of rape might be a bit suspicious under the circumstances, does it? Sadly, there are no great detectives in Maidstone Police station.

And even if there were, thanks to the infiltration of the radical feminist theory that women 'rarely' make up rape cases, they would have simply gone through the motions anyway. And they did:
The part-time cabbie was arrested at his home and taken to the police station where intimate samples, DNA and fingerprints were taken.

His boss Nicholas Morris confirmed that Ms Rye had been banned from using the firm's cabs because of racist abuse to drivers.

Miss Swift revealed a check of the satellite navigation system in Mr Kali's cab showed he had been nowhere near the area where Rye said she was attacked.
Not that that prevented the police from arresting him. After all, women rarely make up rape claims...

So, now Mr Kali's DNA is in the system, just like those other innocent men (though poor Mr Chong probably doesn't care that much anymore).
Rye continued to maintain she had been raped up to the first day of her trial in June, accused of perverting the course of justice.
I think there should have been others in the dock accused of assisting her with that...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

News From The Animal World

Via Zooillogix, this news about the newly-discovered specimen of the colossal squid, which is surprising scientists:
"We are looking at something verging on the incredibly bizarre. As she got older she got shorter and broader and was reduced to a giant gelatinous blob..."
Kerry Katona could not be reached for comment...

Taxpayer Money - Keeping You Them Safe

Council workers are getting free rides on a private, taxpayer-funded bus service because they are too frightened to walk the streets of their own borough to get home.

Staff in Southwark Council’s regeneration department in South London are ferried to the nearest train station every night after work to prevent them having to walk through a rough estate.
This is costing £3900 a week. The residents of the borough? Oh, they can just take their chances...

And it's not as though they'd need to walk, either:
The private bus service ferries staff across two of the country’s most dangerous areas, including the Camberwell and Peckham borough wards of Faraday and East Walworth, where the number of robberies is much higher than the national average.

Yet the council workers could easily catch a scheduled bus – the 343 – from their desks at Chiltern House, which is a 15-minute walk away from the Tube station, just as Southwark Council advises its residents to do.
The council defended its decision because three of their staff were mugged on their way home. The muggers should just apply to the council for jobs - what they do would then be legal, and they'd have even more victims. In fact, a whole borough...

No Comment Needed...

Barry George, 48 – who was acquitted just three weeks ago of killing the BBC Crimewatch presenter – was approached by two officers in a patrol car near his home in North London.

The male and female officers used stop-and-search powers after Mr George was seen ‘hanging around’ parked cars carrying a holdall.

He was searched by the male PC, who found nothing suspicious, and was allowed to leave when the officers were called away to a traffic accident.
That'll probably sound familiar to a certain junkie singer...
Mr George claims the two officers said they were going to search him because he looked at them in a ‘funny way’.

He has told a friend the WPC behaved aggressively towards him and told him he was going to be searched by her male colleague.

And he says the officers failed to issue him with a written explanation of why he was stopped, as required by police regulations.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Public Purse = Personal Piggybank

Especially for Dr Allison Fraser, Sandwell Council:
A council chief executive is attending a £5,000 self-awareness training course in Germany and Florida to learn to become “more likeable and able to like herself”.
I'm not sure she needed it, frankly. Anyone who can dip into taxpayer's money and lash it out on a course like this is probably already so far up herself she's as self aware as she's ever going to get...
Dr Fraser has already taken a £2,400 course in Germany and is due to fly out to Florida in October for the remaining £2,500 worth of training.
Well, of course it's Florida. I mean, Sandwell in October...? Simply ghastly, my dears!

Still, I look forward to Barmy Bobby Piper doing his best on numerous blogs to defend this... ;)

Friday, 22 August 2008

I'd Like To See 'Stricter Controls', too....

...but not necessarily on the dogs:
A Rottweiler which mauled its owners' 13-month-old grandson to death had been kept in a yard and not walked for five months, an inquest has heard.
You'd think a clearer case of an 'accident' waiting to happen couldn't be made. But coroner David Hinchcliffe clearly believe this was a case where 'more regulation' would do the trick:
Mr Hinchliff added: "I would like to see if the law in this country can become such that there are stricter controls, particularly on dangerous dogs, so that their breeding and distribution can be controlled more stringently than is the case at the moment."
Christ, where to start...?

Well, for the first thing, describe 'dangerous dogs' Is this one? Or this?

Secondly, there are already plenty of rules against mistreatment of animals - for instance, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which the RSPCA lobbied for. Do you think the Hirsts knew of its existence, or cared? What use a law that the owners don't comply with, and no-one enforces! It isn't going to stop anyone doing what the Hirsts did:
The inquest heard how the child's grandparents had bought the dog around six months previously from someone they knew in the pub, who had himself bought it as a puppy from an unregistered breeder.
But no doubt some NuLab drone is even now eagerly fetching a big raft of new useless legislation, (that will bring unneeded anxiety to responsible owners, provide jobsworths with another petty power to lord over those they've taken a dislike to, and lawyers a constant stream of income) then rolling over to have his tummy tickled by the Prime Mentalist, eager to curry votes.

Good boy!

The Biter Bit...

It seems the NUS has fallen foul of the kind of identity polics it's been so fond of encouraging elsewhere:
The National Union of Students has been criticised for failing to effectively tackle racism in its ranks.

Black students have spoken out after a series of alleged incidents that have occurred at recent student union events.

Bellavia Ribeirio-Addy, NUS black students' officer, claimed these incidents were not dealt with in an acceptable way.
Once again, those who've lived by the sword are now forced to consider it might not be a nice way to die. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people!

This part, though, really takes the biscuit:
There have also been allegations that at an event earlier in the summer, Muslim students had to eat their dinner behind a screen, separated from other delegates, as a non-alcoholic venue had not been provided.
So, not content with simply not drinking themselves, they consider it their right to force everyone else to go dry too...? Good luck with convincing a bunch of students that that's a valid approach!

Victimhood Poker: Who Trumps Whom?

Because I can't tell anymore.

Bonkers 'grrrlpowah' site, Feministing (lovely title, these are real ladies...) has opened up on the militant animal rights loons PETA for their US adverts aimed at Mexican illegals:
Without even getting into what's fucked up about the message they are trying to send about meat consumption and mexican vs american culture, let's begin with the images on the ad, which are borderline racist and definitely offensive to me. Then how about supporting the screwed up US immigration policy by BUYING ad space on these fences?

News flash PETA: promoting animal rights through misogyny, racism and the objectification of women is NOT the way to go.
I'm sure the pressure group that famously compared battery chickens to Holocaust victims will be sure to heed that...

Some Things You Just Can't Joke About Anymore...

Have you heard the one about the Islamic comedy sketch that ITV ordered its latest star to remove? Katy Brand was the victim of humourless lawyers who instructed her to delete a harmless-sounding spoof called The Iman of Dibley.
And she agreed? What happened to fearless comedians happy to poke fun at everyone equally? Oh, right...
“It was not intended to be offensive,” says the comedian, whose Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show returns on ITV2. “A new iman arrives in a sleepy parish and the comedy arrives from the misunderstandings that causes. But the lawyers said it might be culturally insensitive.”

It’s no laughing matter, argues Brand, 29, an Oxford theology graduate. “The vast majority of Muslims are able to have a laugh at themselves just like everyone else.

Why should they be excluded from comedy? It’s funny that ITV had no problem with a new sketch about a pregnant Jesus’s girlfriend who has to deal with dating the Son of God.”
Isn't it, Katy...?

That might be because the worst thing that might have generated would be a strongly-worded letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Whereas we all know what happens when a Muslim mob gets upset...

That Sound You Can Hear? Lawyers, Rubbing Their Hands Together In Glee...

Secret personal details of Britain's most dangerous criminals have been lost by the Government.
Another bungling civil servant? Not this time:
The names, addresses, details of convictions and even jail release dates of almost 130,000 people were all in Home Office files lost when a computer memory stick went missing. It was being used by an employee of a private contractor working for the department.
Ah, no doubt on a PFI contract? And naturally, the taxpayer will pick up the bill.
Tory spokesman David Ruffley warned of huge costs for taxpayers if criminals sue the Home Office for breaching their privacy and the Data Protection Act.
Well, that's quite likely, isn't it? Given the other things they've sued for in the past!

Still, there's a silver lining here:
The astonishing security blunder plunges Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was told of the scandal on Tuesday, into the greatest crisis of her career.

Miss Smith informed the Metropolitan Police – who are now frantically hunting for the portable data storage device – but chose not to tell the public immediately.

It took the intervention of a whistleblower for details to emerge. The delay is likely to lead to damaging questions for the Home Secretary, whose mood last night was described by aides as 'livid'.

"If You Don't Drive, You're Not Coming In!"

Pity poor Mr Wheeler (Ed - yeah, there's a joke in there somewhere...), who in an effort to do his bit, has regularly wheeled his waste to the local council tip in a wheelbarrow. Not any more:
For eight years Andre Wheeler has used his wheelbarrow to take glass, cans, paper and garden waste to the nearby tip.

The walk helps the 61-year-old teacher keep fit as well as do his bit for the environment.

But now officials have decided that wheeling the barrow on to the village site is dangerous - and he must take his rubbish by car instead.
It sounds completely barmy, but it's our old friend, 'elf and safety, again:
Asked why Mr Wheeler has only now been barred from taking his barrow on to the site, after eight years of doing the same thing without incident, the spokesman said: 'Nationally, there have been a number of recent accidents at such sites involving vehicles and pedestrians. Leicestershire County Council takes the health and safety of both site users and staff extremely seriously.'
A little odd, because if it's anything like my tip, once there, you have to get out and unload the car anyway. So at some point, all visitors are pedestrians!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Liars blink less frequently than normal during the lie, and then speed up to around eight times faster than usual afterwards.
Just one name came to mind when I read this: Ed Balls.

Watch Out – It’s The Music Police!

Pete Doherty has been banned from performing at a music festival because of police fears his music would whip the crowd into a violent frenzy.
Ummm, really? This has happened before, has it?

Apparently so:
Superintendent Paul Williams, of Wiltshire Police, said the application had come following Doherty's solo performance at London's Royal Albert Hall which was marred by crowd trouble.

He said: "It is very unusual for the Royal Albert Hall to have to request police assistance, which on that occasion they did.

"He (Doherty) just whipped up the crowd and there was disorder.

"We are not killjoys and we help organisers with many events throughout the year and some are much larger than this one."
This is believed to be the first action to use Sec 160 of the 2003 Licensing Act. Is Pete Doherty really worth it? I’d have thought he had a small following at best.
Chief Superintendent Julian Kirby added: "We carried out an analysis of what Pete Doherty and his band does.

"What he does as part of his routine is to gee up the crowd. They speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd.

"They (the crowd) all get geed up and then they start fighting."
Your taxes at work. Paying plod to watch video of pop concerts….

But joking aside, is what Doherty does really unique (and uniquely ‘dangerous’) among musical bands? Or is this a ‘thin end of the wedge’ situation?

Update: Over at An Englishman's Castle, another possible reason for this police action emerges...

What Kind Of People Are They Employing…?

…if they need written instruction and undercover monitoring to ensure they politely answer questions from the public:
The country's biggest employer of traffic wardens has ordered its employees to issue tickets only as a last resort and to help elderly people with their shopping, give directions and report missing manhole covers.

Westminster Council in central London said that it was trying to reduce the number of tickets it handed out each year to make life easier for motorists and improve its parking services.

After attending customer service seminars, the wardens will be followed by undercover council staff who will ask them questions such as "How long can I park here?" to ensure that they are carrying out their duties with politeness and a friendly smile.
Good for Westminster council, but it’s a little worrying that they never saw a need for this kind of training before

Perhaps Avon and Somerset police might find it useful to employ the same undercover monitors?

”Our feelings we with difficulty smother…”

..except for PC Aqil Farooq, who obviously has a problem with that:
When Andrew Carter saw a police van ignore no-entry signs to reverse up a one-way street to reach a chip shop, he was understandably moved to protest to the driver.

Particularly as he lives on the road and always goes out of his way to obey the signs.

But his complaint brought a volley of abuse from PC Aqil Farooq.

And when Mr Carter took a picture of the van then tried to photograph the officer, PC Farooq rushed out of the shop and knocked his camera to the ground.

Mr Carter was then arrested and bundled into the van over claims he had 'assaulted' an officer with his camera, resisted arrest and was drunk and disorderly.

He was held in a police cell for five hours before being released on bail at midnight.
So, that’s aggressive rudeness to a member of the public, false arrest and imprisonment, lying on the charge sheet (perverting the cause of justice?)…and that’s not forgetting the original traffic offence!

Anyone wondering if PC Farooq is still in the job? This might help you make up your mind:
It is understood no further action was taken against PC Farooq, who is a member of the Black Police Association's Avon and Somerset branch.
Mr Carter is obviously a very, very forgiving man, as he said he ‘didn’t want the officer sacked’ and has accepted an apology (though is still pursuing compensation). So PC Farooq goes back to his duties, which are listed as:
According to a report from the Bristol Equalities Network published two years ago, PC Farooq's duties within the BPA included work with the wider community on 'good relations with the police'. At the time he was the branch's general secretary.
Yes, he’s really doing a bang up job, there. No wonder one of the Avon and Somerset Force’s targets is the paltry
”At least 50% of residents to feel that the police understand and are dealing with local matters of most concern…"

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Wasn’t Our Justice System Once The Envy Of The World…?

A woman was jailed yesterday after her false claim of rape resulted in an innocent stranger being arrested.

In an attempt to make her family feel guilty following an argument, Kerry Saunders invented a story that she had been sexually assaulted after a night out.
So much for the feminist claims that women ‘rarely’ make up claims about rape.
She was overheard making the allegation by a passing police community support officer.

Instead of admitting it was just a story, she told the officer that her attacker was a black man driving a blue car.
So, she didn’t actually report it herself – she was actively encouraged to do so by one of Blunkett’s plastic police? This gets just better and better…
Within hours, Oladepo Otesile, a student, was picked up by police near the scene of the alleged attack.

He was held in a cell for 22 hours, where he was interviewed under caution and given an intimate forensic examination. Samples of his DNA and fingerprints were also taken.

Only after Mr Otesile was bailed to return for an identity parade did his 'victim' contact police to admit the allegations were false.
And no doubt, like poor Mr Chong, his details are now on the DNA database for the foreseeable future.
Sentencing 26-year-old Saunders to a year in prison after she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, Judge Michael Brooke said 'it was something she brought on herself'.

'She is not a baby, she could have said at any time it was not true and she had been hysterical,' he added.

The judge also said that Mr Otesile had been put through an unnecessary ordeal.

The false claims not only deprived him of his liberty, but cost the police £4,500 in wasted time, Basildon Crown Court in Essex heard.
Actually, your honour, I think a fair part of the blame for the lost money and time belongs to the police themselves. As we will see…
The allegation was made in the early hours of December 2 last year when Saunders was out celebrating a birthday with family and friends.

After a row broke out in the limousine the group was sharing, the driver dumped her on the A13 in Purfleet, Essex.

Minutes later, she called her family and told them she had been raped - an attempt to make them feel bad.
Oh, god. It’s like a scene from ‘When Chavs Go Wild’, isn’t it? Limousine, drunken party, family argument, late-night A13 abandonment. All we need are the white stilettos, and for her friends to be called Sharon and Tracey. And just how bad do you have to be for members of your own family to dump you by the roadside and drive off?
Barry Hargreaves, prosecuting, said: 'An offduty PCSO saw her by the side of the road in a distressed state and she said she had been attacked in the street by an unknown assailant and had been dumped by his car.

'Police were called and told she had been claiming she had been raped. The description she gave was of her attacker being black and driving a blue car.'
The PCSO can reflect on the wisdom of his act of charity and on how very, very lucky he was that he wasn’t the one falsely accused by Saunders, assuming he was alone in the car…
Of Mr Otesile, he added: 'The victim is black, and happened to have a blue car which was spotted by police in the area where the alleged rape took place.

'It fitted the description of the car and he fitted the description of the attacker and he was arrested. He then spent 22 hours in custody where Miss Saunders still maintained the allegation that she had been raped.'
Am I reading this right? On the word of a drunken, attention-seeking chav, and with no physical evidence whatsoever, plod simply arrest the first black man in a blue car they come across? Jesus wept….
After more than a day had passed, Saunders, from Ilford in Essex, contacted police and admitted the claims were false.

Before the incident, Mr Otesile, of Purfleet, had never been arrested before. Describing him as a man of good character, Mr Hargreaves added: 'The whole experience was horrible and very frightening, especially as he knew he had not done anything wrong.'
He should sue. Not just the chav, but the police force as well. I’m not normally in favour of ambulance chasing lawyers, but Mr Otesile needs to find the most feral beast in the legal jungle and sic him on Essex Police forthwith.
The court heard that Saunders had a drugs problem and had been taking crack cocaine on and off since she was 17. She had been drinking on the night of the attack.

In mitigation, her lawyer said she was ' emotionally immature' and the lies were a ' kneejerk reaction to get attention from her family' which spiralled out of control.
What a stunning indictment of the modern day justice system in the UK (and the radical feminists' campaign against men), that the dice should be so loaded against the innocent man in this case, and all on the word (no evidence required, just the word) of a drunken, lying little bitch with the personal integrity of a cockroach.

‘Neighbourhood Watch’ – Yr Doin It Wrong

Speed guns and cameras may be ever-more advanced, but in the village of Swarland, they're catching out motorists with a more traditional device - the naked eye.

Police have asked residents to watch out for drivers who may be breaking the speed limit - and pass the details on.
Splendid! Well, informing on your near neighbours worked in Stalin’s Russia, why not in pretty little Swarland?
The supposed offender will have their registration number, gender, and the date of alleged offence stored on a controversial police database.

If a motorist is reported twice, an officer will pay them a visit. If they are reported a third time, police will make them a target to look out for.
It beggars belief that this isn’t attracting the attention of Liberty and all those other campaign groups.

And I’d like to know if the Information Commissioner has certified this ‘controversial police database’ under the Data Protection Act?
'Northumbria Police are out of their minds,' said the Association of British Drivers.
Hard to argue..!
'The people who are going to be doing this have not been trained, do not have the ability to measure speed accurately, will get it wrong by upwards of 20mph and will end up reporting their neighbours or people they don't like.'
Yes. But I suspect that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Keep the populace in fear and suspicion of each other, and you can rule unopposed.
Rebecca Mordue, 54, who lives in the village, said: 'How on earth are they supposed to know what speed they are doing?

'Could there be some vendettas going on in the village?

'You could be doing 28mph, how would anyone know unless they had a speed gun. I just think the system is flawed - it's open to abuse and error.'
Quite. But I bet now you’ve gone public with your disapproval, your card’s marked! I wouldn’t get out of first gear for a while, if I were you…
Her husband, Ian, 60, who works for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, said: 'They might not have any experience of driving. You could be doing 20mph, but someone could say you are doing 30.

'I have lived in this village for 19 years and I would not have thought speeding was a problem here at all. Most people go quite carefully but obviously someone disagrees.'
And that someone must have a bit of clout, to get the police to agree with him or her so quickly.
Police introduced the scheme this month, after Newton on The Moor and Swarland Parish Council complained about speeding. It could be rolled out to other villages, officers say.
Note the blithe unconcern about the legality or ethics of it displayed there.
Parish councillor Mike Shirley, who lives on Park Road said the council favoured the 'softly softly' approach. He added:
'As with the rest of the country, we have boy racers and the idiots.

'Something had to be done. We are not interested in the lass that is late to get her children to school and doing 35mph, we are interested in the idiot that is doing 75mph.'
Strangely, I think you’ll find the police won’t make that distinction, Mr Shirley. And if ‘the lass that is late to get her children to school’ falls foul of your busybody reporters? Or if you do..?
Alnwick neighbourhood inspector, Sue Peart, said the scheme was about 'educating' motorists and encouraging them to drive safely.

'However if a vehicle is regularly being brought to our attention we clearly have a duty to investigate.

'The co-ordinators of the scheme are responsible members of the community, such as councillors, and as with all information passed to the police as part of a "watch" scheme, there has to be an element of trust that it is accurate and given in good faith.

'Initial feedback from villagers is that the scheme has had a positive impact in reducing the number of people speeding through Swarland and once it's been evaluated it may be rolled out to other villages.'
Oh, this Peart woman is almost not worth the fisking, but here goes:

Firstly, you have no duty to investigate vehicle crime. Get that?
NONE. That is the job of the police, not curtain-twitching Miss Marples with nothing better to do.

Secondly, unless there’s been an unannounced alien takeover in Northumberland, councillors are drawn from the same pool of humanity as the rest of us. That is to say, prone to the same petty, pointless, vicious little squabbles and jealousies that plague any small community.

That’s why police rely on actual evidence of speeding, such as from a camera or hand-held device (which must adhere to rigid standards of testing and maintenance – and often doesn’t, to the delight of Nick Freeman) rather than Officer Dibble’s ‘I estimated the car was travelling at XX mph, your honour’, which roughly translated, means ‘The bastard has a Porsche, and I’ve only got a Ford Escort…’

Though it comes as no surprise, really, that they can actually find ‘volunteers’ for such a pointless, Stalinesque scheme as this. What a miserable, squalid little country we are slowly becoming…

Jury Service…FAIL!

A manslaughter trial collapsed after a juror decided to investigate the case himself.

Newcastle Crown Court had heard six days of evidence at an estimated cost to the public purse of more than £60,000 – not including additional legal fees for defence and prosecution lawyers.

But Judge David Hodson was forced to halt the trial yesterday after learning one of the jurors had been making his own inquiries into the case.
Can we hope this wanna-be Columbo will get the full bill? And is fully investigated for any links he might have with the defendant in the case?
Judge Hodson halted the trial after being handed a three-page list containing more than 30 questions about the case – and a map from Google Earth of the scene.
It then emerged one of the jurors had been carrying out his own investigations. The court heard the man had:

Been to the death scene and photographed it

Measured a fence which is at the centre of evidence

Carried out research into his own theories about what might have happened on the night.

Among the varied questions he passed to the judge included demands for more information on Patterson’s baggy skateboard-style clothing.

The middle-aged juror also wanted to know whether there were any clues from his mobile telephone and bank statements.

And he asked whether the jury could hear the audiotape of the police interview of a prosecution witness.
I think someone’s been reading too much Agatha Christie. At least, let’s hope that's all it is….

When Socialists Attack!

Over at the ‘A Very Public Sociologist’, a left wing blog, the blog owner describes his exciting day of action protesting the BNP festival in Derbyshire. However, the unintentionally hilarious description of the effectiveness of this protest is pretty much a textbook example of the pointlessness of the socialist ‘cause’:
A coach was provided from Stoke (in part financed by North Staffs TUC) that carried a disappointing seven people.
Oooh, seven people! Hope it was a small coach. Wouldn’t want to waste union money and resources, would we?
We later marched about half a mile through the village to the entrance to the farmland where the BNP were holding their ‘festival’. The police stopped us there but did allow thirty protesters to walk the further three-quarters of a mile to a designated ‘protest spot’. We congregated for about an hour before marching back.
Oh, well. Exercise is good for you!
I have to say that the locals did not appear to be very supportive. They generally looked bemused or rather hostile. Only one motorist sounded his horn in support.
Hmm, I only know one way of sounding my horn, and it’s usually to tell some clown to get out of the bloody way! I wonder what coded message the driver used to pass the word to the socialist brethren that he ‘supported’ them…?

It’s a wonder the BNP didn’t halt their festival and all return home when confronted with the might of the socialist’s ‘forward action team’, isn’t it?

Funny, but there’s no mention of the 33 protestors arrested at the rally. Must be an oversight…

So, They Can Pass Harsh Sentences – When They Are Affected By Crime!

A judge is regularly held up by thieves - his daily train journey to work is often delayed because signal cables have been stolen. So when a crook came up before him for robbing the railways of the valuable copper, senior judge Roger Thomas decided it was time to crack down.

Reece Gardner, 41, was starting three years in jail after the judge revealed how he had been personally affected by crooks who cripple the rail network and sell the cable for scrap.
So, it can be done, with a little incentive for the judge?
The judge said even Gardner's early plea of guilty only gave him `limited' discount, as he was caught red-handed with cabling and a hacksaw.

Judge Thomas told the court: "I travel here daily on the trains and it has become a concern that stealing cabling is virtually epidemic.

"The train I travel on is delayed very regularly because people such as this defendant choose to steal the cabling.

"The reasons this happens . . . is that the metal from this cabling can command a considerable price.

"This sort of offence is happening time and again, causing disruption and inconvenience and financial losses to many people who travel on trains. In addition, there is danger caused to the system of the signalling which is interfered with."
Splendid! Now we just need to see a few judge’s relatives stabbed, shot, raped, beaten up, falsely arrested and summonsed for having a bin lid open, and we might just have some real justice in this country at last…

Monday, 18 August 2008

Criminalisation Of The Innocent…

Nearly 600,000 people never convicted of any crime now have their details stored on Labour’s DNA database, shock figures reveal.

More than 400,000 of those were added in the past two years, further fuelling the belief that the Government is building a genetic record of the entire population by stealth.
That belief is correct. It is – and one of the names on that database is falsely-accused Robert Chong:
A grieving mother says the inclusion of her innocent son's genetic details on the DNA national database, after a woman at a train station falsely accused him of flashing, drove him to suicide.

Robert Chong was arrested by an off-duty policeman at Waterloo station in May, handcuffed, held and forced to provide a DNA sample, after the woman – who subsequently disappeared, and whom police acknowledge was a problem complainer – accused him of exposing himself to her. A cursory check of CCTV tapes would have proved his innocence, and that his only interaction with the woman was when she swore at him on the station concourse.
Naturally enough, no such cursory check was carried out, no-one acted on their initiative, and the police simply went through what they probably regard as a routine arrest, record, release-and-await-CPS-decision process. The arrestee..? Who cares about his rights? A complaint has been made, and the juggernaut of bureaucracy swings into action!
Mr Chong, a 41-year-old wood machinist from Hendon, north London, was "traumatised" by the event, and complained to his mother that he felt criminalised.

He worried that his arrest and his inclusion on the DNA database would scupper his hopes of moving to the United States or Australia to work.

He was released on police bail with an instruction to return in July.

The police said they sent him a letter telling him they were dropping the case – but it never arrived.
Oh, well, lost in the post. So sad, never mind. God forbid the police could take a little more care over informing people wrongly arrested that their accuser was a lying, serial fantasist who should never have provoked an arrest without hard evidence in the first place….
She saw him alive for the last time on the morning of 11 July, when he put his head around her bedroom door and said goodbye. She went out later and returned to find a note from him on her bed, telling her: "I can't face life any more." She raised the alarm and a few hours later received the news that his body had been found hanging from a tree at a secluded spot in a nearby park.
Chalk up another ‘success’ to Nu Labour’s obsession with government by tickbox…
Mrs Chong criticised the Government last night: "These people have to realise that not everybody who is put on the database is thick-skinned enough to deal with it. Robert thought he was being branded a criminal for absolutely nothing."

She added: "The database should be for criminals, not for the innocent.

You are meant to be innocent until proven guilty in this country."
That’s right, Mrs Chong. You are. But somewhere in the recent past, that balance shifted. And now it needs to shift back. Fast.
An inquest has been set for November, with coroners' officers asking police for information about Mr Chong's arrest. The British Transport Police, which is responsible for security at railways stations, declined to comment on the case.
Let’s hope Mrs Chong is lucky enough to draw one of those ‘activist’ coroners who wants to get his name in the papers.

It’s the only way (aside from blogging his story far and wide) that poor, innocent, dead Robert Chong will get any publicity, and any belated justice…

”… craven, inhuman, poltroonish cowering behind rules and routines..”

It seems Libby Purves, at least, gets it:
Meanwhile a thousand small habitual practices - from cake stalls to carpentry classes - find themselves under heavy reproof and restraint. And in a hospital ward somewhere a dying, frail old man repeatedly falls out of bed because nurses reckon that they can't put up his cot sides without a “risk assessment”, in case they breach his “human rights” and “unlawfully imprison”
She goes on to note the many other instances of pointless bureaucracy and meddling officials, including the sea rescuers and dustcart standoff that have been in the news lately.
From distant California, thanks to Timesonline message boards, comes the echo of a voice from the Ancient World. Jim from El Centro responded to the Hope Cove rescue story at the weekend with a quotation from Marcus Tullius Cicero: “A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures, whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?
Yes, you really do need to go back to the classics for wisdom these days. I haven’t seen anything (even a Jeremy Clarkson column) that so encapsulates the modern pen-pusher and town hall bully. Although ‘An Englishman’s Castle’, also blogging this article, says that the quote doesn’t come from Cicero but from Taylor Caldwell in her novel based on the life of Cicero.
Something is wrong. We read too many stories about this craven, inhuman, poltroonish cowering behind rules and routines, and about individuals who get into trouble for momentarily breaching them in the name of humanity or sense. I take issue with Cicero and Jim a little, though - it is too easy to rage at bureaucracy itself and join in thoughtless jeering at “suits”.

Even Cicero accepts that efficient administration is necessary: it gets things done and distributed, and is a bulwark against chaos. So I think we have to choose our targets more carefully, and unpick more precisely the evil threads that make us so uneasy and unhappy and desperate to stick to rules in defiance of common sense and kindness.
Perhaps the problem is that these days, there are just too many of them. And they are everywhere.
I would diagnose it as insecurity, linked to a misunderstanding of the concept of “training” (which, incidentally, links straight back to the culture of unintelligent testing in schools). Depressed, anxious people always prefer rules to thinking for themselves; at the extreme they lapse into obsessive-compulsive disorder, forever washing their hands and touching wood. Depressed, anxious institutions such as the Maritime and Coastguard Authority, National Health Service management (and quite a few call centres) display this pathology on a corporate level. You get the “training”, tick the right multiple-choice boxes and refuse to think that there might be another choice, not listed. You feel safer that way, like a troubled child determined not to colour outside the lines.

Yet this is the opposite of real training, as practised for years in real armies, navies, laboratories and institutions. Real training lays down a framework of expertise and safety not to prevent initiative, but to free it. If you really know the rules and understand their purpose, you can judge when to make an exception and break them.
I’m not sure I agree with Libby’s ‘depressed, anxious people’ diagnosis. It could just be that they are bullies, plain and simple, who as Cicero put it, are ‘holders of little authority in which they delight, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog..’.
Employees should be allowed to be people too; and a good bureaucrat should feel safe to judge which value scored highest at the critical moment. We all see examples of this gentle accommodation every day. But we also know that those who break small rules for human values run a real risk, because of that corporate anxiety and depression. It is brought on by soulless micromanagement from the top and a culture that assumes the citizen is a moron. Keeping the balance is not always easy: but hell, human life is a tightrope and always has been. Certainly the reckless rule-breaker should be curbed, even sacked; but so should the stupidly rigid bureaucrat.

“We’d Have Got Away With It, If It Wasn’t For Those Meddling Kids Taxpayers..!”

Councils were accused of a 'blatant con' after scrapping unpopular fortnightly rubbish collections but then slashing bin sizes.

The common 240litre containers for non-recyclable waste are being replaced with 140litre bins, which campaigners say are far too small for an average family's weekly refuse.
Anyone still want to argue that council staff aren’t petty little Hitlers, or spoiled brats used to getting their own way…?
Binmen will refuse to take away any extra rubbish, and repeat 'offenders' face the threat of prosecution and fines. Two councils have already made the switch to smaller bins, and it is feared many more will follow.
So, expect a great increase in the amount of flytipping, more families driving to the tip with their rubbish (thus adding to congestion and pollution) and some families resorting to sneaking out in the dead of night to dump their waste in or around their neighbour’s bins.

Except for the underclass, who don’t care and won’t pay any fines anyway, simply pleading ‘poverty’ or not turning up at court at all.
But Doretta Cocks, the founder of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, described the move to reduce bin sizes in return for ending fortnightly collections as a 'disgrace'. She said: 'It's a blatant con, but sadly one that is likely to catch on around the country.

'Councils make a big show of the fact that they're keeping or reintroducing weekly collections, and then casually add that the bins will now be much smaller’.
Yep, it’s the ‘heads we win, tails you lose’ strategy so much preferred by the unelected, unsackable little shits that control town halls all over the country now.
'Do they think we are all fools? Everyone can see that keeping weekly collections is a completely empty gesture if the bin is half the size. The 240litre bins are already too small for many families, so these much smaller ones will be a nightmare.

'I've spoken to parents who have been reduced to getting their children to jump up and down on bin bags in a desperate attempt to squeeze them into the bins.

'Families who cannot cram all their rubbish in will have to drive to the tip, which cannot make any sense for the environment.

'It will also lead to an increase in rubbish left on the street, which will mean more problems with rats, flies and smells.'
I’m tempted to suggest taxpayers should dump it at the council offices instead, but then that’s probably not fair on the rats and flies, who’d then be faced with competing against much larger vermin…
Roland Dibbs, deputy leader of the council, said: 'We trialled alternate weekly collections of rubbish but the public would not have it, so we went back to the drawing board.

'We really do need to make significant changes if we are to reach our recycling targets and this seemed the most sensible compromise.

'Our bins are now 20 years old and starting to show their age and will need to be changed, so it seemed a good opportunity to replace them with new 140litre bins.

'This encourages people to think about what they are throwing away, but responds to hygiene concerns about alternate weekly collections.'
Now, any normal person, faced with this problem of unacceptable collection schedules, would rethink the recycling targets accordingly. But not the local bureaucrats, who answer to a higher power than mere council taxpayers who keep them in a job – they answer to Brussels.

There is hope, though:
Last week solicitor Roger Houlker won a two-and-a-half-year battle against Congleton Borough Council to get an extra bin after saying that his family often produced too much rubbish to fit in the 240-litre container it provided.

The father of three claimed binmen would leave any extra rubbish bags on his driveway, where they were often ripped open by vermin, spreading the contents over the grounds of his six-bedroomed property.

The local government ombudsman found the council had failed to respond effectively to Mr Houlker's complaints or make any proper assessment of the volume of waste generated before making its decision, and ordered it to pay Mr Houlker £250.
Let’s hope we see a lot more Mr Houlkers out there, forcing these lazy pen-pushers to do the bidding of the people paying their wages, not the unelected gravy-train EU parasites.

Gravy Train Derailed

One of Britain's most successful anti-gun crime projects is in danger of closure after the Home Office refused to continue its funding.

The Don't Trigger project, which has been acclaimed by senior politicians and the police, was supported last year by a £450,000 grant from the Home Office. But when the group running the project applied for a renewed grant and extra money for an anti-knife crime initiative they were turned down by the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker, who said the money could be better used elsewhere.
Well, yes. £450,000 is a fair bit of money to be squandered on what looks like a cozy sinecure for ‘art students’ and disaffected ‘youf’ to muck about with cameras…

Needless to say, local politicians fear the effects on their electability:
Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, whose south London constituency of Peckham is among those badly affected by gun crime, said she was "shocked and saddened" by the refusal to fund the Don't Trigger project this year. She said she was "concerned that the decision to withdraw this funding will have wide implications".

Ms Harman has taken up the issue with the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, and has written to Mr Coaker, demanding a detailed breakdown of how he reached the decision to end the project's funding.
By looking at the headlines in the local newspaper, showing the complete lack of effect it was having on teenagers shooting/stabbing/beating each other perhaps?
Urban Concepts, the group behind Don't Trigger, had wanted to use a large chunk of the new funding to launch a grassroots, anti-knife crime project. It laid out plans last November to make a version of the film Twelve Angry Men. The adaptation, to be called Twelve Angry Teenagers, was to examine why young people carry knives, and spread the message: "One knife can take a life."
Well, yes, I can’t say I disagree with Mr Coaker here. This is just a vanity project for a few ‘youth and community leaders’ to mess around with cameras on the government tit. Their previous ‘achievement’ seems to be limited to getting their name in the papers by criticising a Facebook application.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to shell out for yet another clueless single-issue pressure group to guzzle vol-au-vents at media parties and ‘network’ with other pressure-group parasites.
Raymond Stevenson, head of Urban Concepts, said: "Everyone involved with Don't Trigger was totally shocked by the decision to stop our funding, especially as we had been held up as a great example of a grass-roots project. The Government have asked the community to come forward and get involved in efforts to cut gun and knife crime, and that's exactly what we are doing. Without the funding, we are finished."

He said the campaign would have been more effective than the Government's attempts to cut gun and knife crime. "There is a real turn-off factor among young people when they know a message comes from the Government," he said. "Our message is so effective because people in the community know us, and respect the work we do."
But this message does come from ‘the government’. That’s where you get your funding from!

The fact that ‘da kidz’ don’t realise this is obviously a telling indictment of our education system.

Ahh, Yes, This Is The ‘New Tory’ Party…

…just the same as Tony Blair’s ‘Nu Labour’. All soundbite and gimmick:
Britain should bar Russian oligarchs from shopping trips to London to punish their country over its role in the Georgian crisis, David Cameron said.

The Conservative leader called on the Government to take a much tougher stance against Moscow, including suspending Russia from the G8, summoning the country's ambassador to make a diplomatic protest and fast-tracking Georgia's membership of Nato.

Mr Cameron, who flew to the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Saturday, said: 'Russian armies can't march into other countries while Russian shoppers carry on marching into Selfridges.'
What an amazing world statesman you are going to be, Dave. Banning blameless Russian citizens from shopping here due to the actions of their government will really show Moscow, won’t it?

Posturing cretin…

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Interfering Jobsworth Watch: North East Lincolnshire Council

In her part of the world retired chef Diane Tovey is renowned for her cakes.

Slices of her delicious lemon drizzle, coffee and walnut, carrot and orange, date and walnut and pear, pistachio and dark chocolate offerings go down a treat.

On bank holidays over the last two years Mrs Tovey, 52, has raised nearly £1,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by selling tea and cakes from her chalet home.

Now council bosses have put a halt to it all - claiming she is running a business and must stump up for a £5 million public liability insurance policy.
This is despite the fact that their food safety people have no problem with her food, and they are fully aware that she does this only for eight days a year, and has the receipts to prove she hands the money over to the RNLI (who are supporting her).
...the council insists it has no choice in the matter because as a landowner it could be found liable if any customer made a claim against the Toveys.

A spokesman said: 'If we consent to something and the tenant is not insured and a customer submits a claim against Mr Tovey, as the land is ours and we are party to the agreement we could be pulled into proceedings and potentially be liable as well.'
Given the state of the roads around here, plus the state of the pavements, perhaps Mrs Tovey should move. My council isn't too worried about being found liable for anything!

"Next Time You See A Dustman, Lookin' All Pale And Sad..." might be because he works for Kirklees Council:
After industrial action left them without a rubbish collection for a month, the families of Birks Road were delighted to see the council lorry finally arrive.

But their relief turned to anger when the binmen announced that, while they would empty the households' wheelie bins, they would not take any loose bags which had piled up.

Two weeks later, they were still refusing to take away all the rubbish. And at this point, the quiet cul-de-sac in Huddersfield suddenly became a street under siege.
It seems the people of Birks Road suddenly realised that they were the ones employing these people, after all. So they took direct action:
One man parked his car across the street, preventing the lorry from getting out. Others formed a human chain around the truck while a group of children sat in front of it and refused to move.

Finally, after a two-hour stand-off, the binmen agreed to take all the rubbish and tranquillity was restored to Birks Road.
It appears the attitude of one of the council workers sparked the whole row:
Eventually, a rapid-response vehicle from the council arrived to collect the excess waste.

But that was not the end of the saga. 'A guy in a shirt and tie appeared and said, "To teach you a lesson we are not emptying the bins in the street", so we formed a human chain around the lorry,' said Mrs Jones.
To 'teach you a lesson'...? To 'teach you a bloody lesson'! He's lucky he didn't end up in the dustcart himself...

Friday, 15 August 2008

Melanie Reid: The Replacement for Lord Longford We’ve All Been Waiting For...

Let me entertain you with a modern-day version of the tale of the old woman who lived in a shoe. To be absolutely accurate, Shona Waugh is not that old - she's only 37 - but she has eight children and definitely doesn't know what to do.

On Wednesday she was given a five-month jail sentence for buying groceries with stolen credit cards to feed her children, one of whom is handicapped. This caring, sharing, compassionate society of ours, shaped by 11 years of a Labour government, deemed that fair punishment for such a crime.
Actually, given automatic sentence reduction, they didn’t. She’ll do less than half that (hell, some nervy CPS chap reading his ‘Times’ this morning is probably planning to cut her loose even now..).
The sentence means that she will lose custody of her children, some of whom may have to be taken into care. What also seems unavoidable is more anguish for the woman and her family; and more expense for the taxpayer, who will pick up the prison and care costs.
Oooh, cunning one, sticking in the ‘expense’ bit there. Bound to make those evil capitalist Tories think twice, eh? Well, no. In this case, I for one don’t begrudge the money spent on incarcerating this habitual criminal and her brood.
Lots of things about this story are interesting, the most important of which is that Ms Waugh didn't use the credit cards on herself. She didn't treat herself to luxuries, or go crazy in Toys'R' Us. There is no suggestion that she bought drugs. This desperate housewife - that's real-life desperate housewife rather than the TV version - resorted to fraud to put food on the table for hungry mouths.
Why, she’s a veritable saint! Except, of course, for all those families out there who might be just as hard up, but manage to restrain themselves from stealing their neighbour’s credit cards.
From what can be gleaned from her appearance in court, where she sat quietly, smartly dressed, hair neat, I can tell you a little more about her circumstances. For a start, her three-year-child is handicapped. According to her lawyer, as the child's carer, Ms Waugh was “emotionally and psychologically drained”. Her youngest child is a year old, with whom she had a difficult pregnancy. She has a history of anxiety and depression.
So, her life is a mess, she’s turning out kid after kid with (given the family circumstances) a less than ideal life start, but we need to pity her, because she has nice neat hair. Wow, Melanie, why not just subscribe to the Hallmark Channel for your fix of picturesque misery, instead of attending court?
And just to make Ms Waugh's cup of joy really overflow, she has a former partner, from whom she was recently separated - a man who, it was said, had subjected her to emotional and psychological abuse.

So there we have it: a snapshot of a heinous modern criminal who has to be locked up. A picture of a woman trying to keep the lid on chaos and failing badly. Eight children, some grown-up, but one with special needs and one a new baby; a rotten relationship and no money. And, to top it all, incarceration and the loss of her children.
I guess someone else is to blame for the lousy choice of sperm-donor, Melanie? Surely it can’t be down to the sainted Ms Waugh herself!
Now there is no suggestion that Ms Waugh is a saint (Ed – Eh? You just got done canonising her!). She is clearly not so clever on the contraceptive front, nor in her choice of partner - but these are not criminal offences, nor are they by any means faults exclusive to any particular class of society. She had appeared in court two days earlier, when she was sent to jail for four months for an assault that had taken place as her life spiralled out of control. Ms Waugh's fraud was hardly on the Baring's Bank scale. It's achingly sad, hopeless stuff - born, as her defence made clear, from the fact that she was under “significant financial pressure”.
Interestingly, we aren’t told who she assaulted. Someone who objected to her helping herself to their credit card, perhaps? And it’s apparently ok to steal if you are under significant financial pressure, but not if you work for Baring's Bank. Glad we worked that one out...
The hollow logic of locking up all transgressors is also pitifully exposed. Women's prisons remain packed with individuals guilty primarily of not coping. Such prisons perform, as one governor once told me wearily, as psychiatric holding camps.

But if conventional policies are pointless, inappropriate, and potentially catastrophic, what should be done with a woman like Shona Waugh? What acceptable solution returns her to law-abiding, competent mothering; keeps the family fed and together; stops crime; and costs the taxpayer least?
Ms Waugh’s sentence was for theft, not for ‘not coping’. I don’t think cooing ‘Oh, poor woman, she’s not like other criminals’ from your lofty vantage point far above the likes of Waugh and the trouble she causes for those around her (and the children she ‘raises’) is going to do much either, do you, Melanie?

But let’s not take your soft-focus view of Shona Waugh, shall we?
Waugh was charged with 17 offences after police arrested her in connection with another matter, and overheard her telling one of her young children to get rid of her handbag.
17 offences? That’s a lot of supermarket trips. She’s not just getting a little bit behind with her finances there, Melanie. She’s making a living out of it. And she’s not exactly a good role model for her kids either…
Elspeth Macdougall, defending, said Waugh, who has previous convictions for dishonesty and was jailed for four months for another offence on Monday, had turned to credit card fraud to feed her family.
Previous convictions for dishonesty, eh…? Say it ain’t so!!

I'm sick and tired, frankly, of well educated, well paid columnists indulging their inner do-gooder at the expense of the neighbours of people like Shona Waugh. There's a simple solution, Melanie; you think she's so hard done by, offer her a job...

”Subtle Bouquet, Overtones Of Oak Leaves, And….Death?”

Hospitals in the News Shopper area have been forced to take extra measures to stop people stealing and drinking an alcoholic hand wash.

Both Lewisham Hospital and Queen Mary's Hospital, in Sidcup, have moved the handwash which is used to fight superbugs such as MRSA, to more secure locations in the building's public areas.
So, this is a problem with alcoholics?

Well, no:
An inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court, on August 5, heard how two homeless eastern Europeans were found dead in a Streatham squat after drinking the gel in February.

In response to the deaths Thamesreach is now pushing for the manufacturers of the gel to take more responsibility.

A charity spokesman said: "The onus is now on the makers of these gels to clearly label how poisonous these products are, while removing, or at least concealing, the reference to alcohol content."
Yup, you read that right. Two alcoholic tramps poison themselves by stealing and consuming a substance clearly not intended for human consumption, yet in the eyes of the charity health ‘experts’, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility…

The world truly has gone mad!

It’s Not Just The Underclass….

…who use the police to sort out trivial domestic disputes, then decide they didn’t mean it:
Batman star Christian Bale will not be charged over an alleged assault on his mother and sister the night before the London premiere of The Dark Knight.

The 34-year-old actor was arrested last month by officers investigating claims that he had attacked members of his own family in his suite at the Dorchester Hotel.

Bale’s mother Jenny, 61, and sister Sharon, 40, who both live in Dorset, made a formal complaint to Hampshire Police after the incident on July 20 and the actor was arrested two days later.
Fair enough. We are always told, in the case of ‘battered women’, that even if they retract their statements, prosecution should go ahead regardless in the interests of justice. So, will this apply here? Well, no:
“Whilst the CPS treats all incidents which take place in a domestic context seriously, it is important that the views of complainantsare also taken into account when making decisions in such cases.

“Taking all the factors into consideration, the decision has been taken that there is insufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction, and accordingly the police have been advised that no further action should be taken against Mr Bale.”
Fancy that, it works differently when you are dealing with modern royalty, the ‘dysfunctional celebrity family’…